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Investigating the relationship between mine air and strata temperature changes and the use of portable refuge alternatives.

Yan L; Reyes MA; Yantek DS
2018 SME Annual Meeting, February 25-28, 2018, Minneapolis, Minnesota, preprint 18-052. Englewood, CO: Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc., 2018 Feb; :1-4
Heat and humidity buildup within refuge alternatives (RAs) may expose occupants to physiological hazards such as heat stress. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) regulations require RAs in underground coal mines to provide a life-sustaining environment for miners trapped underground when escape is impossible. RAs are required to sustain life for 96 hours while maintaining an apparent temperature (AT) below 95 degrees F (35 degrees C). NIOSH tested a 10-person tent-type RA, a 23-person tent-type RA, and a 6-person metal-type RA in NIOSH underground coal mine facilities to investigate the thermal environment over a 96-hour period. The test results showed that mine air and mine strata temperatures surrounding an RA occupied by simulated miners increased over the 96-hour test period. The test results suggest that RA manufacturers should consider this increase in temperatures when calculating and evaluating RA components during surface and laboratory tests. The findings can equip stakeholders with additional considerations for calculating heat and humidity temperature profiles for RAs not tested in situ.
Mining; Mining-industry; Miners; Mine safety; Humans; Refuge chambers; Emergency equipment; Work environment; Emergency shelters; Mine disasters; Heart; Humidity; Thermal properties; Physiological effects; Heat stress; Mine Safety and Health Administration; MSHA; Regulations; Underground miners; Life support systems; Temperature regulation; Mining equipment; Equipment testing; Heat production; Heat regulation
L. Yan, NIOSH, Pittsburgh, PA
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2018 SME Annual Meeting, February 25-28, 2018, Minneapolis, Minnesota, preprint 18-052
Page last reviewed: September 17, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division